Five year sentence for Egyptian Islamist

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Hard-line Egyptian Islamist leader Hazem Salah Abu Ismail’s five-year sentence for involvement in a court siege in Nasr City in 2012 was upheld by the country’s top appeals court.

A Cairo court sentenced Abu Ismail and five others in January 2017 to five years in prison in connection with the siege but they appealed their sentences.

Abu Ismail was jailed for inciting and participating in violent demonstrations at Nasr City court in north-east Cairo in December 2012 demanding the release of a supporter, arrested in possession of an automatic weapon, according to police.

He and his supporters blocked the court entrance, barring anyone from entering or exiting, including prosecutors inside. The defendants used threats and violence against prosecutors to coerce them into releasing the supporter, the prosecution said.

Earlier in 2012, Abu Ismail was disqualified from the presidential race that brought Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood to power in June the same year. Reports emerged Abu Ismail’s late mother held a US passport, meaning he was not eligible to run for the presidency.

Abu Ismail was arrested in July 2013, two days after Mursi was ousted and is serving a seven-year sentence for falsifying his candidacy application for the 2012 presidential race.